Effects of video games on the brain
Video games aren’t just a teen hobby anymore. Meanwhile, almost all age groups enjoy versatile games. From a health perspective, however, video games tend to get a bad rap. Wrongly? An ongoing study highlights the positive aspects of regular gaming on PC, XBox, Playstation, Switch and Co.
In a recent study, researchers from Georgia State University (USA) found that people who regularly play video games have better sensorimotor decision-making abilities and increased activity in key regions of the brain compared to to non-players. The results were recently published in the specialist journal “Neuroimage”.
Health effects of video games are unclear
“Video games are played more than three hours a week by the overwhelming majority of our teenagers, but the positive effects on decision-making and the brain are not well understood,” says the study leader and professor of neurology, Mukesh Dhamala.
According to him, ongoing research is providing the first answers to these questions. “Playing video games can be used effectively for training – for example, to train decision-making skills and for therapeutic interventions,” the brain expert points out.
course of the study
The research project at Georgia State University involved 47 young adults. 28 of the participants regularly played video games, 19 played rarely or not at all. All subjects underwent a special test.
They had to track a dot using mirrors and decide by pressing a button whether the dot would move left, right, or not at all. During this time, the participants’ brain activity was measured.
People who regularly play video games were able to respond faster and more accurately in this test than participants who did not play games. This was also confirmed by brain scan results, which showed higher activity in certain brain regions in the players.
“These results indicate that playing video games can enhance several subprocesses of sensation, perception, and attribution to action in order to increase decision-making capacity,” summarize the study authors.
Video games as decision-making training
For the first time, the results provide insight into the possible effects of regular computer game play on the brain and how the brain is trained while playing.
According to the scientists involved, the results suggest that video games could be a useful tool for training perceptual decisions, both in terms of speed and accuracy. (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
Georgia State University: Video Game Players Show Improved Brain Activity, Decision-Making Skill (Published 7/11/2022), news.gsu.edu Timothy Jordana, Mukesh Dhamala, et al. : Video game players improved their decision-making abilities and enhanced brain activities; in: Neuroimage (2022), sciencedirect.com
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.